Creating the universe

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  1. First create a randomized Star Field
    1. Fill the base layer with black, go to filter menu and apply Noise filter
    2. Drag the slider all the way to the end to give it maximum Noise
    3. Blur the noise by going to Filter-Blur-Gaussian blur, set it to .3
    4. Go to Image-Adjustments-Curves and adjust the curve to give the image more black area.
    5. Start a new layer
    6. Fill this layer with Render-Cloud Filter
    7. Your current color should be set to Black and White (at the bottom of your tool pallet on the left, where you select your current color and alternate color)
    8. Use the Overlay setting on the layer blending mode (You can find this option on the top of the Layer pallet, where it says Normal and a down arrow, select Overlay from this menu)
  1. Creating the nebula
    1. Start a new layer, fill it with Cloud filter
    2. Go into Liquefy in the filter menu and distort the cloud with the tools available
    3. When you are satisfied with the result, click ok
    4. Darken parts of the cloud with Burnt tool to minimize the bright spots.
    5. Use soft Eraser to erase any sharp edges
    6. Set the layer blending mode to Screen, this will make the darker area become transparent
    7. Use Curve adjustment layer (You can find adjustment layers at the bottom of the Layer pallet, it is the icon of a half black, half white circle.) Drag the curve to darken the nebula.
    8. Use Free Transform tool (Ctrl+T) to stretch out the nebula if desired
  1. Adding color the Nebula and stars
    1. Set your current color to red and blue, on a new layer go to filter
    2. Apply Cloud filter and you end up with blue and red cloud
    3. Set this layer to Color blending mode (top of the layer pallet where it says Normal and a down arrow).
    4. Refine the brightness with Curve Adjustment Layer (found at the bottom of the layer pallet) right below the colored cloud layer
    5. Drag the curve until you are satisfied with the result.
    6. Create another layer of nebula under the Blue and Red cloud layer.
    7. Set current color back to Black and White
    8. Go to Filter-Render-Difference Cloud, you will get a much more chaotic cloud
    9. Adjust the brightness with a Curve Adjustment (Ctrl+M)
    10. Set this layer to Screen blending layer as well
    11. Use Free Transform tool (Ctrl+T) to stretch this out if you like
    12. Lower the opacity (changing the opacity of the layer on top of the Layer pallet) of either nebula layer if any of it becomes too much
  1. Create a brush so we can paint in brighter stars.
    1. Lets create a “Bright Star” brush, create a new layer and fill it with white
    2. On another new layer draw the shape of a light streaks with a black circle and stretched it out to a thin streak with the help of Free Transform Tool (Ctrl+T)
    3. Duplicate this streak and rotate it 90 degree and align both on its center and now you have a cross shaped light streak.
    4. Select both streak layer (Ctrl+Click each layer) and Merge the layers (Ctrl+E)
    5. Double click on this layer to bring out the Layer Style menu, check the Drop Shadow option and adjust the setting so that the streak has soft edges
    6. Use a soft round brush and paint on the center of the star.
    7. Select the entire canvas by pressing Ctrl + A than go to Edit and define brush preset
    8. You just created a brush that shapes like a bright star
    9. You may now delete these two layers as they are only used to create the brush
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  1. Paint the bright star on top of the star field.
    1. Create a new layer, activate brush and select the “Bright Star” brush we just created
    2. go to dynamic menu (use the shortcut F5 if you can’t find the icon)
    3. Set the shape jitter to 100%, scatter to 100% and spacing to about 180%. Adjust the angle to about 50 degree
    4. Start painting and your bright stars will randomly scatter itself on the canvas
    5. Adjust the brush size to get more range of sizes
  1. Creating the planet
    1. On a new layer, use the circle marquee to create a full circle (hold Shift while dragging the Circle Marquee tool)
    2. I use Cloud and Difference Cloud filter to create the texture
    3. With the selection still active apply some motion blur filter,
    4. You will notice the motion blur made the edge semi transparent. Duplicate this layer 2 times and merge it all to eliminate blurred edge. (Ctrl + E to merge selected layers)
    5. Give the planet some rounded perspective by applying Distort – Spherize filter
    6. Give it some color by going into Image – Adjustment – Gradient Map, choose the color combination you want and select ok
    7. Continue adding effects and textures that you desired and merge the layers (Ctrl + E while both planet layers are selected)
    8. Create another layer and apply circular gradient for the shadow of the planet. This should be done with Black and White as your current colors.
    9. Set the layer adjustment to Multiply
    10. Merge both layers again and double click on the newly merged planet layer to bring up the Layer Style
    11. Apply inner and outer glow in the Layer Effect (double click the layer to bring up this menu) to it and you are done
    12. You may deselect the Round Marquee selection (Ctrl+D)
  1. Make the ring around the planet
    1. On a new layer, use circular marquee to draw a perfect circle (hold Shift while dragging the marquee shape)
    2. Fill the circle with solid white, apply noise filter than Radial blur filter
    3. set method to Spin and amount to 100% and press ok
    4. Press Ctrl+F to repeat the radial blur filter a few times until it looks nice and smooth
    5. Bring out the curve adjustment menu by using shortcut Ctrl+M or find it under the Image menu
    6. Drag the curve until you get a strong black to white contrast and hit ok
    7. Hit Ctrl+F again to repeat the radial blur to smooth it out again
    8. With the circular marquee still selected go to Select-Modify-Contract to contract the selection
    9. How much pixels you need depends on your canvas size and your personal taste, so keep trying until you find a number you like.
    10. The selection is now smaller; hit the DELETE button to cut a hole
    11. Now you can deselect (Ctrl+D)
    12. Set this layer blending mode to Screen, it will make all the black area transparent
    13. If you wish to add color to your ring go to Image-Adjustments-Gradient Map and find the color combination that you like. It should be the color of the ring on 1 end and black on the other end.
    14. Give the Ring some perspective. Use the FREE TRANSFORM tool (Ctrl+T) to distort the shape
    15. Hold Ctrl+Alt+Shift and drag one of the top corners “Handles” inward, than drag the top center handle down
    16. Keep shaping it until you find a good perspective ring shape than hit ENTER to finish
    17. Drag the ring to align with the planet and use a SOFT eraser to erase the parts that are behind the planet
    18. If you want your ring to glow, duplicate the ring layer and apply Gaussian blur to it
    19. I am using Curve Adjustment to make the planet a bit darker because it felt too bright
    20. Use the burn tool to darken one side of the ring if you want your planet to cast shadow on the ring
    21. Earlier the Bright Star layers were below the color layer; I brought it up and gave it its own color by using outer glow and setting the glow color to blue.
  1. This is the final result of the project.

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